Nigerian E-Mail Scam Price Tag: $5,000 Per Victim - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Infrastructure
News
4/6/2006
02:19 PM
50%
50%

Nigerian E-Mail Scam Price Tag: $5,000 Per Victim

Half of victims of the fraud admit losing $5,000 or more, far more than any other online scam, a government report reveals.

Wonder how much people lose from that Nigerian E-mail scam--you know, the one in which millions of dollars will be yours if you only pony up some front money?

The answer: $5,000. Or at least that's the median loss among those who reported being taken by the fraud to federal authorities.

That's one tidbit in the 27-page 2005 Internet Crime Report issued Thursday by the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Known as IC3, the center is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. This latter group is a congressionally funded, not-for-profit corporation consisting mostly of law enforcement agencies, state regulatory bodies with criminal investigative authority, and state and local prosecution offices.

Last year, IC3 received 231,493 complaints online, up 12% from 2004 and 89% from 2003. These complaints consist of a variety of offenses, including auction frauds, reshipping schemes, counterfeit check schemes, hacking and computer intrusion attempts, and child pornography Web sites. IC3 analyzed 97,076 of last year's complaints to develop a picture of the current state of online fraud.

Of that 97,076, some 2.7% claimed to be victims of the Nigerian E-mail fraud. Do the math, and more than 1,300 people paid $5,000 or more to the fraudsters for that one scam, the highest of any of the frauds. Check fraud ranked No. 2 in financial losses, with a median loss of $3,800 per victim. Other types of confidence schemes accounted for a median loss of $2,025.

Other findings in the report:

* Total dollar loss from referred cases topped $183.1 million, with a median dollar loss of $424 per complaint.

* Internet auction fraud made up nearly two-thirds of complaints, with nondelivered merchandise and/or nonpayment accounting for 16% of complaints.

* Men represented three-quarters of perpetrators, with half the lawbreakers living in California, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Men more than women--by a 64-36 margin--were likely to file a complaint. The average age of a complainant was 40. One third of complainants came from California, Florida, Texas, and New York.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
2018 State of the Cloud
2018 State of the Cloud
Cloud adoption is growing, but how are organizations taking advantage of it? Interop ITX and InformationWeek surveyed technology decision-makers to find out, read this report to discover what they had to say!
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Next Generation of IT Support
The workforce is changing as businesses become global and technology erodes geographical and physical barriers.IT organizations are critical to enabling this transition and can utilize next-generation tools and strategies to provide world-class support regardless of location, platform or device
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll